Dr Suzie Attiwill is Professor of Interior Design in the School of Architecture & Urban Design
In all areas of her practice, Suzie is a passionate and committed advocate for the discipline of interior design. Her career trajectory plies academic roles with a freelance practice in interior, exhibition and curatorial design. Her research is conducted through a practice of designing with a curatorial inflection attends to arrangements (and re-arrangements) of spatial, temporal and material relations to intervene in contemporary conditions and experiment with new productions of interior and interiority in relation to modes of living, subjectivity and pedagogy. Her research is recognised internationally and has been published as book chapters, journal articles, conference presentations and exhibitions. Committed to fostering research in the discipline and the value of its social and cultural contribution, Suzie leads the Interior Design PhD stream as part of the School of Architecture and Urban Design’s Practice Research Symposiums in Melbourne, Barcelona and Ho Chi Minh City. Suzie is registered as a Category 1 Research Supervisor. Areas of research supervision focus on the questions of interior and interiority in relation to practices of design, art, craft, theory, writing and curating. She supervises emerging practitioners in the generative research mode as well as established practitioners in the reflective industry practice mode. As part of her integrated scholarship ethos, Suzie also develops and offers partnered design studios in the interior design programs on a regular basis.
In 2017, she received the RMIT Award for Research Impact – ECR – Design for the ‘urban interior’ research project which establishes an expansive idea of ‘interior’ and re-frames the discipline and practice of interior design as a critical contemporary practice in which questions of urban inhabitation and subjectivity are foregrounded. The award recognised the local and international impact of this research evidenced through workshops, citations and speaking engagements
From 2018 to 2021, she was Associate Dean Interior Design, RMIT University; and before this, from 2013 to 2017, Deputy Dean Learning & Teaching, RMIT School of Architecture & Design. She is a member of the Design Institute of Australia, and an Australian Design Honouree, Australian Design Centre. From 2006 to 2012, she was Chair of IDEA (Interior Design/Interior Architecture Educators Association) and an executive board member, International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (2020-21). Suzie is an advisory board member for Master of Interior Architecture and Research Design, Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam, 2019 to current.
Suzie is the current Chair of the University’s Human Research Ethics Committee (2022 to 24).
- PhD (Architecture and Design), RMIT University. Research by practice, 2013 – '?interior, practices of interiorization, interior designs'.
- Master (Design), RMIT University. Research by practice, 1994 – 'The Reposing Box: the reinvention of the archive'.
- Bachelor of Arts (Interior Design 1st Class Honours), RMIT University, 1991 – 'The Collectors'.
- Certificate of Applied Arts Melbourne School of Textiles, 1986
- Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours in Fine Arts and Indian Studies) University of Melbourne, 1983. Thesis title: 'The Modern Fairy Tale. The Café Aubette, Strasbourg, 1928'.
Since 1992, Suzie has directed an independent practice involving the design of exhibitions, curatorial work, writing and working on a range of interdisciplinary projects in Australia and overseas. She has extensive experience as a journal editor and exhibition curator. Suzie is regularly invited to judge design awards and peer review for journals, book proposals and conferences. She currently sits on editorial advisory boards for the journals Interiority; Interstices. Journal of Architecture and Related Arts; and RMIT Design Archives Journal.
Suzie is an honorary member of Australian Design Centre; Craft; and Interior Design/Interior Architecture Educators Association. In 2021, she was nominated and short-listed for ‘contribution to profession’ in the ‘Place’ category, Design Institute of Australia Designers Australia 2021 Awards.
Previous roles include:
- Artistic Director, Craft Victoria (Craft), 1996 to 1999
- Executive Editor, IDEA JOURNAL, 2014 to 2015
- Chair and Director, IDEA (Interior Design/Interior Architecture Educators Association) 2006 to 2012.
- Director, West Space Board Artist-led initiative, 2006 to 2010 (Chair: 2007 to 2009)
Examiner of PhDs: Hong Kong PolyU, Hong Kong; Estonian Academy of the Arts, Tallinn; Victoria College of the Arts, University of Melbourne; University of Tasmania, Hobart; Faculty of Architecture, Art and Design, Monash University; Hasselt University, Belgium; University of Pretoria, South Africa; Faculty of Art and Design, UNSW; School of Art, Australian National University, Canberra.
Examiner of Masters: Parsons The New School, Manhattan; Faculty of Architecture, Art and Design, Monash University; College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales; Victoria College of the Arts, University of Melbourne; University of Technology, Sydney; and Massey University and Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand.
Australian Research Council assessor for Linkage and Discovery Grants.
Judge for awards in the profession:
- Asia Pacific Interior Design Awards.
- Taipei International Design Awards, China Centre for Production, Taiwan.
- Room of the Year, House and Garden Magazine.
- IDEA Awards Interior Design Excellence Awards.
- Premier's Award for Design Leadership, The Premier's Design Awards.
- Penaloza Caicedo, A.,Knight, L.,Attiwill, S. (2023). Architecturing-with all Creatures: speculating with children and other creatures for an ethico-political environment (Arquitecturando-con todas las creaturas: especulando con niños, niñas y otras creaturas por un medio ambiente ético-político) In: Dearquitectura: journal of architecture, 35, 14 - 30
- Attiwill, S. (2021). Interior Designing in the Urban Environment: Practices for the 21st century In: Handbook of Research on Methodologies for Design and Production Practices in Interior Architecture, IGI Global, United States
- Attiwill, S. (2020). Urban Interiors and Interiorities In: Cultural, Theoretical, and Innovative Approaches to Contemporary Interior Design, IGI Global , Hershey, United States
- Attiwill, S. (2019). A new image for interior and interiority In: Interior Futures, Crucible Press, California, United States
- Attiwill, S. (2019). Outside-Interior: ?Interior In: Aberrant Nuptials. Deleuze and Artistic Research 2, Leuven University Press, Leuven, Belgium
- Attiwill, S. (2018). Urban Interiority as Collective Individuation In: The Stories of Interior: Multiple Perspectives on Interiority, Jakarta, Indonesia, 30-31 January 2018
- Attiwill, S. (2018). Practice Research PhDs in Interior Design In: Proceedings of the 1st Annual Design Research Conference (ADR18), Sydney, Australia, 27-28 September 2018
- Attiwill, S. (2018). Speeds, Slowness, Temporal Consistencies and Interior Designing In: Flow. Interior, Landscape and Architecture in the Era of Liquid Modernity, Bloomsbury Publishing , London, United Kingdom
- Attiwill, S.,Jamieson, S.,Raheem, A.,Scott, R. (2018). Wind Meeting In: The Performance Arcade 2018 - Counter Narrative Wellington, New Zealand
- Attiwill, S.,Bird, T.,Eckersley, A.,Pont, A.,Roffe, J.,Rothfield, P. (2017). Practising with Deleuze, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
15 PhD Completions and 9 Masters by Research Completions18 PhD Current Supervisions
- Developing spatial design know-how with and for young people living in out-of-home residential care. Funded by: Alastair Swayn Foundation Strategic Grants from (2022 to 2023)
- DAP_r Design and Architecture Practice Research. Funded by: Office for Learning and Teaching Grant 2015 from (2016 to 2018)